Eighty percent of businesses work with private developers to create applications, according to an IBM report. These developers work independently, outside of the scope of enterprise IT, and help to close the skills gap that currently exists in most organizations, the survey states.

Forty percent of organizations say they have moderate-to-major skills gaps across cloud, analytics, mobile and social technologies. The same number of organizations say the aforementioned technologies are driving their company's business innovation.

In order to ensure applications are developed, respondents say enterprises turn to private developers as well as start-ups and academics. Seventy percent of respondents say they are likely to engage with start-ups for application development.

Why it's necessary

In addition to developing consumer-facing applications, organizations would like to develop applications that simplify business processes, take better advantage of company data and improve employee productivity. However, working with third-party developers can be costly, and can expose company data. By working with independent developers, organizations can save money and gain control of the app-making process.

The IBM report is based on responses from more than 1,400 IT and business decision makers in 15 industries across five continents.